Enjoy camping along the waterfront? Then you are going to love the recently-unveiled Shoal tent, which, the manufacturer boasts, will allow outdoor aficionados to “sleep under the stars, on the water.” The world’s first floating tent is the brainchild of Ohio-based SmithFly, well-known for making high-quality and innovative camping gear.
The temporary abode can be set up on any calm stretch of water, including lakes, farm ponds, saltwater flats, spring creeks, and even river eddies. Measuring eight feet long by eight feet wide, it can comfortably sleep two campers — each up to 6'3" tall when laying down — and withstand heavy winds and rain.
By now you are probably wondering where the pesky tent poles are. As it turns out, there are none! That’s because, unlike conventional tents, the Shoal tent is not pitched, but inflated using the manual foot pump provided by the manufacturer. When deflated, it fits inside an easy-to-carry “burrito roll” style storage bag. Even better? The tent’s thick, 6-inch base doubles as an airbed, roughly the size of a twin-sized mattress, alleviating the need for sleeping bags.
Although the one-of-a-kind tent, which started shipping in early January 2018, guarantees some memorable camping trips, it does cost a hefty $1,499. Also, the raft-like shelter does not come with a paddle, which means returning to shore could prove challenging. And while it does weigh a whopping 50 pounds once inflated — “virtually unmovable,” according to the manufacturer — there is no anchor. Hence, campers could potentially drift away from their chosen location due to high winds or powerful currents.
SmithFly is not the only one to come up with a radical idea to shake up camping. In 2010, Seattle-based JakPak unveiled an all-in-one waterproof jacket, sleeping bag, and tent! In 2013, UK-based tree house architect Alex Shirley-Smith elevated the camping experience — literally — with the Tensile tent, which can be tied hammock-style to trees!
Resources: newatlas.com, smithfly.com